Caroline Verdon: Does our toddler have secret psychic powers?

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Our toddler has done some creepy things in his time. He’s not quite three but we’ve amassed quite a list.

When he was about four months old he took to smiling and waving at the empty corner of our lounge. At about 18 months he was pointing at people in the room “lady…lady…man” only the man didn’t exist and there was definitely nothing there. This week however he has surpassed himself.

We’ve got a few weeks leave booked in around Ant’s wedding and decided we’d try and get away before his big day so we booked a last minute holiday to Spain and persuaded some friends to spend some time in Yorkshire and house-sit. My sister is going to be in Spain at the same time, she’s a professional sailor and can be anywhere on the globe so it’ll be great to be able to have a catch up and a chill out. The weather looks beautiful, the price was a steal and we’re all really looking forward to it. Or at least we were.

On Monday Arthur was sat on the sofa munching an apple and playing with his toy planes (one of his favourite things to do) and we decided to tell him we were going away. “Remember last year, how we went on holiday and got to go in a plane?” I said. He remembered instantly, he told us about how he’d seen all the planes on the tarmac take off and later looked out of the window and saw the clouds below. He took another bit of his apple and started looking under the sofa for a plane he’d dropped earlier. “We’re going to do that again, we’re going to go on a plane and go on holiday”, I said. Fully expecting an excited response but what I got was far from that.

“No” he yelled. “No! Fall from the sky into water crash, splash, crash. It is burning! Ouch, ow, no no. I yell ‘Mummy help me’ and ‘Daddy help me’ but nothing. There is fire. The end.” My husband and I sat there, stunned into silence wondering what we’d just witnessed. Arthur however, merrily took another bite of his apple and asked “Can I watch Waffle Dog on the TV now?” He barely blinked.

Rob and I went into the kitchen to make tea and whisper in hushed voices. Was this an early example of a plane phobia? Had he seen something on TV about plane crashes? We couldn’t think of anything – we’re pretty sure there hasn’t been an episode of Peppa Pig entitled “Peppa and the plane journey of death” or one of Peter Rabbit “when Peter dies in a ball of flames”. We don’t even watch the news when he’s around in case it scares him as we’re well aware that he understands more than he lets on. He also didn’t seem worried. Once he’d finished his truly terrifying enactment he went straight back to being content and happily began watching the telly.

If it wasn’t a phobia and it wasn’t something he’d seen on tv, could it possibly be some sort of premonition? My husband, whilst he had no idea where the outburst came from, said that there had to be another reason. I, definitely not being the calm or collected on in our relationship, went straight onto my emails to read through the small print to find out if we’d taken out a cancellation policy and whether we’d lose our deposit. Would it be ridiculous to cancel a holiday because of something your three-year-old said?

After days of worrying we finally got to the bottom of it. I walked into the lounge and he was talking about falling from the sky into flames and water again. Nervously I asked him where he’d heard that and what he meant.“It’s the three little pigs” he said, as though that was really obvious. “Wolf falls from the sky into water, crash, splash, crash. it is burning! Ouch, ow, no no. he yells ‘Mummy help me’ and ‘Daddy help me’ but nothing. There is fire. The end”. Turns out at nursery they read the version where after huffing and puffing at the houses made of straw, stick and brick, the wolf breaks in through the chimney, falls into a pot on the fire and gets cooked. On the one hand I was incredibly relieved that there wasn’t going to be a horrendous accident but on the other, this meant he had developed his father’s selective hearing. I look forward to the teenage years.

Wedding horror stories

In less than three weeks, Ant will be a married man.

To help him prepare for the wedding and make sure he’s got all of his bases covered ahead of the big day, we’ve named the week “I didn’t let that ruin the wedding” week and have been asking for your horror stories. You really haven’t let us down and have been pivotal in winding Ant up further and further.

Rob in Horsforth called, he’s a wedding DJ. One wedding he worked at got so unruly, the best man got run over: “it was a really posh do in a teepee on a farm. There was a free open bar and the guests very much took advantage of that. Not long after midnight I heard revving and all of a sudden, speeding onto the dancefloor came best man number one driving a quad bike. He aimed for and then ran over best man number two, trapping and breaking his leg and pinning him to the ground.”

Then there was Martin in Morley who went to a wedding and the unthinkable happened. “The caterers just didn’t turn up. They’d had the ceremony and the bar brought some champagne out but there were no canapés. When the best man went to find out why he was told that no one had showed up. In the he ordered a fish and chips and a Chinese buffet from the local takeaways!”

To be fair, that sounds like incredible wedding food to me. Throw in an ice cream and you’re sorted!

You know you’re old when...

This week, I have been made to feel really old.

A list came out containing the top 20 of the world’s best hidden bars. I love hidden bars and actively seek them out, they are absolutely my thing. Knowing they exist makes me feel somehow young and cool and absolutely on my A game.

The Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers only listed three from the UK (trust me, there are loads more excellent ones). Milk and honey, and the Evans and Peel Detective Agency in London (both well worth a visit) and then a third one. One that I’ve never heard of let alone noticed. Even though it’s on my doorstep. If that isn’t a sign of old age and not being cool enough then I don’t know what is.

Apparently it’s called Domino and its entrance is at the back of ‘Lords barbering’ barbers in the Grand Arcade. I’m so out of touch but rest assured I will be putting this right as soon as possible!

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show on Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.